The rapid restoration of powerlines in Mozambique has given Eskom and the people of South Africa 900 Megawatts of electricity.
Mozambique has been lashed by the Cyclone Idai, displacing thousands and claiming the lives of scores. Flood waters and high winds meant that the power that Mozambique supplies to South Africa was disrupted further contributing to Eskom’s woes.
The tropical system slammed into the port City of Beira before moving inland causing devastation through Mozambique into Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The repeated faults and underperforming power plants have threatened to derail South Africa’s economic recovery. Eskom was able to ease load shedding on Friday after its electricity imports from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric system in Mozambique were restored.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement: “The minister of public enterprises has reported that they were able to revive and restore the power line from Cahora Bassa. So we will have an additional 900 megawatts.”
Eskom’s load shedding is expected to shave 0.3 percentage points off South Africa’s first-quarter GDP growth according to a report released by Goldman-Sachs on Thursday.
Residents in Gauteng have also been hit with water shortages as the loadshedding programme took its toll on the water supply system.
Send in the cavalry
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was deployed to the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam to assess and service the issues, resulting in a speedy restoration and the easing of load shedding.
There has also been a parallel improvement in the output of Eskom’s power stations.
Ramaphosa said on Friday: “Restoring a reliable supply of energy and ensuring that we have a sustainable model for affordable energy into the future is now one of our most urgent priorities.”
Eskom top brass have said that they don’t expect anything higher than stage 2 load shedding across this weekend.
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